Posted by YAC Members

On November 23, 2019, the Youth Advisory Council hosted our first Youth YOU-nity art show. As an artivism-based community event that aimed to engage young visual and performing artists, creative youth from around the Bay Area came together at Manilatown’s International Hotel to vendor their art and perform to their hearts’ content. Other local youth programs such as AYPAL and Bay-Peace also showed their support by tabling at our event. 

Eujean: I think art is a really effective tool of activism and bringing community together in a creative way. As I was browsing the vendors’ art pieces, I noticed that many of them incorporated aspects of social justice and activism into their art on a variety of different issues, including womxn’s rights, API and POC history and culture, immigration, criminal justice, and more. It was so great to see all of the talented youth artists, and I am so excited for next year’s Youth YOU-nity!

Emily: There are so many talented youth artists in the Bay Area, so Youth YOU-nity was a great opportunity for them to gather, network, and vend their creations. It was such an insightful experience to see all the different mediums of art that youth pursue, such as paintings, photographs, jewelry, and ornaments. I am really proud of how Youth YOU-nity turned out! After months of planning, our hard work paid off as we brought the community together and encouraged youth activism through art. 

Queenie: Although this was the first year of Youth YOU-nity, I was immensely proud of the event’s outcome. It was incredible seeing creative youths all throughout the Bay Area come together to showcase and sell their art, sharing their passion for their hobby to everyone who came through the building’s doors. My personal highlight was seeing all the wandering Chinese elderly folks come in and ask about our event’s purpose. Although some were confused as to why so many young people were selling art, some were genuinely interested in what was offered. This event really showed the versatility and inclusiveness of art, and I can’t wait to see how Youth YOU-nity will look like next year!

Alex: It was really nice seeing so many young artists having a place to showcase their work and vend some of their art. I felt the event came together really well and provided a sense of community for everyone who attended. I’m really proud of all the hard work everyone put in to make Youth YOU-nity possible. 

Kathy: I am so happy with how Youth YOU-nity turned out because it was our first ever art pop-up! I can still remember when the idea of an art pop-up was brought up when we were applying to the Youth Leadership Institute (YLI)’s BLING grant, how we were brainstorming a new event for youth to celebrate community and the arts. The turn out to Youth YOU-nity was amazing, especially since pedestrians were drawn to the bustling young artists, free food, and lively music! I hope for this event to continue as a YAC tradition in the future so that young artists continue to feel supported in the community.

Ally: Youth YOU-nity was such an amazing day. I had so much fun with my friends and it was really nice to see all of the young artists collectively present their art to the community. I enjoyed learning about so many young artists from the Bay Area and stepping out of my comfort zone to MC the event with my friend and fellow intern, Matthew. It was so much fun to watch all the performers sing and dance, and afterwards we opened the floor for karaoke. It was also so meaningful to host this event in a historic place that directly connected with my heritage. Although the vegan Filipino food we had for lunch wasn’t my favorite, I wouldn’t have had it any other way and I’ll never forget the first Youth YOU-nity, I can’t wait for next year’s!

Javi: It was really nice seeing youth from so many different backgrounds coming together to showcase their different talents, youth YOU-nity was such a success and I don’t think it could have turned out any better, it was joyful seeing everyone having fun and engaging with each other and I hope we host more events like this in the future to support our young artists.